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LITERARY    LIFE                       26l
a Chinese Studio) and Ckinku CKikuan (Madame Chuang's Inconstancy and Other Tales), the last representing the best collection of old popular stories that have come down through the ages.
I have grouped these more or less in the order of their popular influence. A catalogue of common novels in "circulating libraries" on the street would show that novels of adventure, in Chinese called "novels of chivalry/3 easily top the list. A strange phenomenon this, of course, in a society where chivalric, dare-devil deeds are so often discouraged by teachers and parents. Yet psychologically it is most easy to explain. In China chivaliic sons, who are likely to involve their families in trouble with the police or the magistrate, have been driven out of the home into the gutter, and chivalric citizens who are too public-spirited and who must meddle in other people's affairs, when they see injustice done to the poor or the helpless, have been driven out of society into the "green forests** (a term for bandits). For if the parents do not "break'* them, they are likely to break their families, owing to the absence of constitutional protection. A man who insists on seeing justice done to the poor and oppressed in a society without constitutional protection must indeed be a hero of the "unbreakable" sort. It is obvious that those who remain in the home and in respectable society are the type that is not worth the trouble of "breaking" at all. These "good citizens" of China therefore admire the sons of the forest very much as helpless women admire the he-man with a swarthy face, an unshaven beard and a hairy chest. What is more easy and more exciting than for a consumptive lying in bed to read All Men Are Brothers and admire the prowess and exploits of Li Kuei? And it should be remembered that Chinese novels are always read in bed.
The tale of wonder or novel of supernatural beings, involving fights of giants and fairies, covers a large store of folk tradition that lies very close to the Chinese heart. In the chapter on the "Chinese Mind" it has been pointed out how, in the Chinese mind, the supernatural is always mixed with the real. The Hsiyuchi) translated in outline by Dr. Timothy Richards in A Mission to Heaven^ describes the exploits and adventures of the monk Hsiiantsang in his pilgrimage to India, in the company